Jorge Lorenzo paid a high price for braking a few centimetres off line in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Donington Park - the young title contender crashing out of the race lead after straying onto a white line (see pictures below).
The incident occurred as Lorenzo touched the brakes into the final turn on lap 9 of 30 in the tricky conditions, which saw slick tyres being used on an increasingly wet track.
Lorenzo's Fiat Yamaha instantly collapsed under him as he rode over the line, sending the Spaniard sliding into his second retirement of the season. The 22-year-old tried to rejoin, but his damaged bike was stuck under an airfence.
Earlier in the race Lorenzo had put a brave pass on race leader Rossi as the field headed down Craner Curves for the first time, then returned to the front on lap 5.
“I got a good start and the first few laps went well, I was feeling quite comfortable in the lead,” said Lorenzo. “Unfortunately on the final corner of the ninth lap I made a small mistake, got my line wrong and touched the white line and there was nothing I could do; it was very slippery. I was okay and wanted to carry on but my bike was too badly damaged.
“Of course I'm sad and disappointed but this is racing and these feelings don't help, you just have to learn from a mistake like this and look forwards.”
Rossi also crashed while leading, on lap 20, but was able to rejoin and claim fifth position, allowing the reigning six time MotoGP world champion to build his advantage over Lorenzo from 14 to 25 points (one race win) with seven rounds remaining.
“Valentino was lucky that he could continue after his crash, but it wasn't our day,” he shrugged. “I am going to enjoy the break now despite this and take the chance to do plenty of training so we can come back at full strength in Brno.”
“What a crazy day! We missed a great chance to get some points and a good result but unfortunately Jorge just touched the line and he had no chance to save it,” confirmed team manager Daniele Romagnoli. “It was also unlucky that the bike was stuck under the fence because there was no chance for him to continue.”
Lorenzo and Rossi did not use the Dainese airbag leathers in the race due to the rain - the fear being that erratic rider movements caused by the slick conditions might trigger an incorrect deployment of the airbags. Both riders were unhurt in their falls.